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A Trusted Partner at All Times
How to keep the quality of treatment and availability of top-quality medicines at a high level is a keynote question for every healthcare system in the time of crisis. Local pharma industry is an important mainstay and a trusted partner to the healthcare system of Serbia.

Europe is facing rising inflation and is threatened by an energy crisis of unprecedented proportions. The still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has urged, in the previous period, extraordinary and large financial investments in the healthcare system of Serbia. Crisis situations continue to emerge, imposing serious challenges and concern how to ensure the sustainability of the healthcare system. How much support can local pharmaceutical industry provide to the healthcare system?

- Local pharmaceutical industry is a guarantee of regular market supply and a trusted partner to the Serbian healthcare system. The task of the local industry is to provide effective and safe latest-generation pharmaceutical products at affordable prices. Owing to local pharmaceutical manufacturers, the citizens of Serbia get quality generic treatments, the same ones that are used by patients in highly developed European countries – says Bojana Podgorac Milenković, Master of Pharmacy and Medical Biochemistry, Head of Rx Marketing from Hemofarm.

In Serbia, generic drugs account for close to 80 % of the total market in volume and around 45 % in value terms. It is a percentage that corresponds to the majority of EU countries.

- Generic drugs are increasingly used all over the world. For the sake of an example, generics account for as much as 80 % of prescription drugs in USA. Life expectancy has increased, and with the aging of the population, expenses for the treatment of chronic diseases are growing rapidly, so generic drugs, as high-quality but cheaper therapeutic alternatives, enable greater availability of drugs to all patients who need them, thus contributing to the quality of treatment, and at the same time supporting the financial sustainability of the healthcare system – our collocutor points out.

Equal Efficacy

Why is the price of generic drugs lower? Does it mean that generic drugs are of lower quality?

- No. Generic drug is a high-quality pharmaceutical product. It is developed on the model of the corresponding originator medicine and in terms of its composition, efficacy, as well as possible side effects, it is completely equal to the originator drug. It is used for the same indications, it is prescribed in equal doses, it has equal API concentration, as well as the same therapeutic effect in the body. And, why is it cheaper then? It is because in the production of a generic drug, it is not necessary to repeat the expensive and extensive clinical trials that must be carried out during an innovative drug development period, which sometimes imposes an over a billion-dollar investment by an innovative company – explains Bojana Podgorac Milenković, M.Sc.Pharm.

Quality Treatment as the Top Priority

Availability of high-quality drugs is an imperative for both patients and doctors. All local pharma industry representatives in Serbia produce top-quality generics.

- Hemofarm, as a local pharma industry leader, operates in tune with the highest global production quality standards applicable in all its manufacturing plants, and Hemofarm’s medicines are present in 34 countries on 4 continents across the globe, exactly owing to their high quality. It is noteworthy that the latest technical-technological and medical breakthroughs are implemented in the development of a generic. At the same time, a generic drug can only be registered when it meets all the requirements of the regulatory bodies, which are very strict and extremely demanding. Patients in Serbia are treated with high-quality medicines – Bojana Podgorac Milenković points out.

Ongoing investments have been made in the Serbian healthcare system aimed at securing a continuous enhancement of the quality of health protection.